Shrink your office (LUX Design)By Bora Mihalyi Design Editor at LUX Design
Ten years ago, this article would have been very different. Space saving techniques would include tips such as foldable furniture and converting CDs to mp3 files. It would have detailed how you could fit a home office into the living room, maybe the kitchen, and it would have urged you to keep your small spaces organized so you don't get overwhelmed with the clutter. Of course, all that is still viable advice -- almost a necessity when you try to fit a family of four into a 900 square foot condo. However, a lot has changed in a very short period of time, luckily for the better. There is no longer a need for large entertainment units, entire rooms for offices, or a home library (unless of course, we want one). You can now hold your office on your lap. All our possessions have been digitally shrink-wrapped, so to speak, and clutter has moved from your desk to your desktop. With the help of a few pieces of technology, you can live comfortably in any space, be it a villa in the countryside, or more likely, a small condo overlooking the Toronto skyline.
One wall is made of windows, another is reserved for the couch, the third is the opening of your bedroom, and the fourth is technically your kitchen, the question a lot of movie-lovers ask themselves is 'where does the T.V. go?'. Let's be honest, most of us have not watched T.V. on an actual T.V. in years, preferring the convenience of a laptop over a T.V. screen. But, regardless of the hassle of moving television sets around and finding space for them, the idea of a good movie night always prevails and we load our beloved flat screens onto the moving van. However, there is a way to have a movie night and get rid of the television (don't have a panic attack just yet). Projectors have been steadily improving over the past few years. Although still expensive, the quality and crispness of colours now compares to a television. The best part is that you don't need any extra furniture to go along with it. You can project a movie from your computer or USB right onto a wall painted with a light colour. If you prefer colour on your walls, use roller blinds as a screen. Keep in mind, if you are an avid daytime channel surfer, for the best results using a projector, you need good light control.
Paperless and clutter free living (LUX Design)
The idea of a paperless office is nice, but in reality, we still use a lot of paper. We get receipts, business cards, doctors notes, test results, etc, and most of it, we have to keep. All this adds up over time and outgrows the single drawer into which it gets stuffed. The idea of writing this all into the computer is nice, but after a month of receipts pile up on the desk waiting to be inputted, it loses all appeal and the pile grows once again. Now you just scan and watch as all your documents turn digital without a secretary. The scanners have shrunk as well. Some are now the size of chunky hole punchers - perfect for mobile offices or small office desks.
As great as it is to pick up a book, feel its weight and flip through its pages, e-readers are here to stay, and as far as small spaces are concerned, they are a viable investment. By no means does this translate to swapping your real-life library for a digital one that fits into your palm, however, it does warrant some thought for books that you are not planning on passing on to your grandchildren. Let's be honest - how many times are you going to re-read 'Twilight' or the latest mystery novel? Set a limit to how big your library can grow - one full bookshelf? an entire room? It's up to you. What doesn't fit can go into the infinite digital space available.
Ten years ago, we were a culture obsessed with size. We wanted everything big. Bigger cars, bigger houses, more space, more stuff. However, recently, we have come to a collective realization that we don't don't want to be bogged down by physical possessions, and have effectively done a 180 (generally speaking). Now we want everything smaller and more compact. We have gone digital and it is saving us more than just space. Maybe one day, we will once again be a nomad nation, but until then, while we still crave the comfort of walking into our homes, throwing down our keys and putting our feet up, these three easy to implement digital innovations will keep your home from overflowing and taking over your space.
Bora Mihalyi is the Design Editor at LUX Design, a Toronto-based interior design firm specializing in unique, luxurious concepts for commercial and residential spaces. You can visit LUX Design at www.luxdesign.ca and www.thecondoquickie.com.